Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Marky Mark and Denzel Are Bros

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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: X Is Unknown!

Post by MadMan » Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:13 am

Thanks to my local awesome public library I got my hands on some MSTK episodes. Four, to be exact. Here's the first review out of that bunch:

The Magic Sword (1962, Bert I. Gordon)

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Despite the efforts of one Basil Rathbone this movie is largely dull, and by dull I mostly mean inept, painful to sit through, and full of really terrible acting. Dull isn't a good descriptive word or criticism and yet it applies to this movie, which I never would have even heard of if it hadn't been for Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the first place. This episode was merely amusing instead of the usual awesome hilarity that is a trademark of the show itself, and that speaks even more to how bad The Magic Sword really is. Hell this movie is bad enough to the point where its almost mediocre instead of bad, lacking the means and not even going the extra mile to be incredibly terrible like many of the other movies Mystery Science Theater 3000 roasted over the years during the show's run.

Also the plot leads to scenes that have the look and feel of a bad local theater production that stars middle school children and is directed by a drunk man who somehow was tasked with getting it off the ground and running. The special effects are really quite bad for the era, and I actively don't even recall what the story was about in the first place. Hey at least the movie has a dragon, I think...but the dragon pops up way too late for it to be really cool. If they ever remade this movie even Michael Bay could make an at least so bad its good/full of explosions version. I would rather watch that than ever view this crap fest again.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Magic Sword's Title is a Lie

Post by MadMan » Mon Sep 08, 2014 7:52 am

The second MSTK movie viewed from the four movie pack I got from my local public library:

Alien From L.A. (1988, Albert Pyun)

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Most of the jokes in this episode from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 crew were pretty funny, and with good reason: this movie is bad. Just really bad. Alien From L.A. is not the worst movie I've ever seen, but its up there in terms of poor quality, ridiculously crappy acting, no sense of pacing....this film might as well be a random object. The title is stupid because the main "Alien" is a human who happens to go into the center of the earth, or something like that, so she is not really an alien. Unless we are talking about an illegal alien. Ho ho hum hum. I don't even recall most of the plot because my brain has tried to erase Alien From L.A. from my memory. After all I have more important things to remember. Okay maybe not-its just that this movie sucked. It sucked, sucked, sucked. Honestly where did the MSTK gang ever find these types of movies? I've searched for plenty bad films in my time, heard of and seen many too, but the ones that appeared on this show with the exception of a handful take the cake. Its funny how Twilight or Transformers doesn't sound so bad after you've viewed an epic masterpiece of shit like Alien From L.A. At least in those movies there are explosions, the visuals might be pretty, the actors might look good, I donno...something in them isn't the worst ever. Alien From L.A. is the type of film that should inspire people to make movies, because there's no way a group of friends with a camera and some free time couldn't come up with something worse than this.

PS: Kathy Ireland sure is easy on the eyes, though. Always has been, always will be. She deserved better than this. We all do.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Kathy Ireland Can't Act

Post by MadMan » Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:09 am

The third movie in the MSTK four pack:

Danger!! Death Ray (1967, Gianfranco Baldanello)

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That poster btw is better than the entire movie.

Wow even the title is bad. There have been plenty of so bad its good action movies released over the years, and Danger!! Death Ray, is not one of those movies. Nope it just plain flat out sucks in ways that I can't even possibly describe. You have to actually view this one, and marvel at the special level of awful, thus bringing to mind such epic masterworks of pure shit such as Troll 2 and Manos: The Hands of Fate. The ray itself is even a letdown, and the characters are paper thin even for an action movie made in the 1960s. This decade saw some truly classic and quality action movies (the James Bond films and Point Blank come to mind) so I guess there had to be the other side of the coin: painfully terrible, poorly crafted, messy suspenseful pictures with no class, charm, wit, intelligence or anything resembling qualities you would find in a good movie, or hell even a decent one. Danger!! Death Ray isn't even a halfway okay Bond knockoff, and if it wasn't for MSTK I never would have even seen it in the first place. Too bad that the episode itself didn't make me laugh a lot, and I was actually bored with some of the gang's comments, which is a first probably. Not even episode was comedy gold, I guess, although in the MSTK crew's defense this movie didn't really give them much to work with.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Danger!! Crappy Movie

Post by MadMan » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:28 am

Another Hammer Studios review:

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1959, Terence Fisher)

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Look Peter Cushing is great as Sherlock Holmes and this adaptation is true to the book. Having Christopher Lee staring with him in a non Frankenstein or Dracula movie is a bit amusing and cool. Yet this film was too dry and not interesting enough, despite a good opener that sets up the film’s atmosphere. Also André Morell who plays Watson is rather dull, not properly serving as a foil to Sherlock. Considering that other actors have better embodied Watson its a bit disappointing, although I fault the writing in this film for not properly utilizing him. I suppose after the BBC Sherlock and the 1980s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes not to mention even the Guy Ritchie Holmes films I expect more from Watson. Then again though the original source material didn’t have him being this dull, either.

There is one thing I always like about Hammer Studios films though and that is how they often insert subtitle thoughts about class. Most of their films were set in the late 1800s, yet the fact that often it was lower or middle class people against rich upper class villains is an interesting contrast. Although I admit that many of the heroes were of high standing, too.

Still not all the movie is a complete waste, as its still entertaining and watchable despite its flaws. I liked the mine scene because its suspenseful and interesting. Too bad that Hounds is not more than an okay take on a classic novel. Especially with Fisher, Lee and Cushing involved; however this does not change the fact that Fisher was the most talented director out of all the ones who worked for Hammer Studios, and he was responsible for many of their best works. Also I will admit this is not really a horror movie at all, even though there are a number of scenes that come straight out of the best of Hammer Studios style Gothic horror.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Kathy Ireland Can't Act

Post by JediMoonShyne » Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:33 am

MadMan wrote: That poster btw is better than the entire movie.
Haha.

It's frightening how often this turns out to be true.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Kathy Ireland Can't Act

Post by MadMan » Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:36 am

JediMoonShyne wrote: Haha.

It's frightening how often this turns out to be true.
It used to be the case. These days too many posters suffer from floating head syndrome.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Killer Hound Loose On The Moor

Post by MadMan » Fri Sep 12, 2014 6:01 am

Its been a long time since I reviewed a TV show episode by episode, or at least focused on the overall season. The last show I covered episode by episode was Lost, and the last season I reviewed overall was Season 1 of Game of Thrones. So I present to you folks my short, not really in-depth enough thoughts on True Detective's first episode, which I just viewed five minutes ago:

True Detective Season 1 Episode 1: The Long Bright Dark

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Opening in the Deep South and focusing in on a case that had long been thought solved in 1995, the HBO show True Detective utilizes flashbacks and flash forwards for a season centering around two Louisiana State CID's, Rust and Marty. These former partners are being interviewed, or more likely interrogated, by current detectives because someone has been killed in the same fashion as the girl that they found in a field over a decade prior. Having fallen out after years of working together, Marty and Rust are grilled separately, each giving accounts of what transpired during the murder investigation. In the process certain elements come to light, and we begin to get a certain picture of who these men are and how they think.

This is especially made clear in a scene in which Rust offers his darkly humorous and brutal outlook on humanity after Marty unfortunately asks Rust what his belief system is. Matthew McConaughey breaks free of his movie persona here, delivering a brooding monologue that Woody Harrelson reacts to quite strongly, which in turn was funny and rather apt given the nature of what Rust had just said. Its interesting that Marty's wife, Maggie, wants Rust to meet Marty's family, as the two men seem to have little in common and Rust is no longer a family man. Perhaps curious to see who has her husband's life in his hands, although maybe also a typical formality of sorts. What occurs as a result of that decision is Maggie realizing what Marty already knows: that Rust is on edge, teetering on that line between sanity and madness.

Another choice moment is when Rust in the interview forces one of the detectives to get him a six pack of Lone Star as he continues to chain smoke away during their questioning. The first episode concludes with a rather nice puzzling quote that does not come across as typical or cliche based on how McConaughey delivers the line. Harrelson and McConaughey display a natural rapport and connection in this show, playing off of one another and reflecting their fantastic talents onscreen. I'm looking forward to viewing the rest of the series based on this gorgeously shot, bleak and neatly directed episode.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Video Game Adaption #99197-RE

Post by Gort » Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:26 am

MadMan wrote:Pumpkinhead (1988, Stan Winston)

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Considering how the movie ended I'm surprised there were sequels, although it seems that the horror genre creates franchises out of just about everything.
It seemed set up for a sequel, to me.

That makes two first-time-viewings from your list.

This was a lot more philosophical than most slasher films. I did like the way the church, a ruin at the time, was not a sanctuary from the ravages of revenge.
Also, how Pumpkinhead took on more and more of the facial characteristics of Harley as the night wore on, and the bodies piled up.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Video Game Adaption #99197-RE

Post by MadMan » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:41 am

Gort wrote: It seemed set up for a sequel, to me.

That makes two first-time-viewings from your list.

This was a lot more philosophical than most slasher films. I did like the way the church, a ruin at the time, was not a sanctuary from the ravages of revenge.
Also, how Pumpkinhead took on more and more of the facial characteristics of Harley as the night wore on, and the bodies piled up.
Yeah I suppose the last scene did cry for a sequel, but I felt the movie had kind of wrapped things up. Oh well on that account.

I do love how it is indeed deeper than most slasher films, and thus more satisfying than many of the genre's entries. The church was really creepy. I'm glad you watched it.


I just watched it tonight:

True Detective Season 1 Episode 2: Seeing Things

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"Yeah, back then, the visions, yeah most of the time I was convinced... Shit... I'd lost it. But there were other times... I thought I was mainlining the secret truth of the universe."-Rust Cohle

While the pilot was really great I actually liked this episode more, as it was subtle, rather eerie, with undercurrents lying beneath the surface. Also featured here is where Rust starts to go down the rabbit hole as he stops circling the drain and plunges into the dark, sinister hole, diving into something that might lay beyond his understanding. Marty at the present does not realize this until the end of the episode, and even after hearing from Rust about Rust's family and what happened to them he still fails to fully know his partner. Funny how you can work together with another person and still never unravel the layers, peeling them back until a clearer picture emerges.

This is underlined by a scene of raw emotional intensity where Rust and Marty almost come to blows in the locker room after Rust pulls a Sherlock Holmes and reveals to Marty that he knows about the other woman in Marty's life. That woman would be Lisa, played with gorgeous charisma by Alexandra Daddario, who in her few moments with Marty plays an effective mistress to his need to blow off steam. Even as she desires something far more tangible, something that Marty does not want or can give he beyond casual sexual hookups between the two of them. Whether or not Marty's wife Maggie (expertly played by Michelle Monaghan) knows about Lisa is not revealed in this episode, although its clear that Marty and Maggie are having some troubles at home and its possible Maggie suspects.

Previously I failed to mention how amazing this show's music is, as the legendary T Bone Burnett is responsible for that area and he does his usual fantastic job. I love how the songs set the tone of the show, giving the episodes added empathises and adding to the show instead of being distracting or driving the moments-the scenes proved imaginary for the music instead of the other way around, if that makes any sense. Oh and the shots of the countryside are beyond amazing, in addition to the scenes where Rust hallucinates cryptically, almost showing himself the way. What this means, only future episodes will tell.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: A Pair of True Detectives

Post by MadMan » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:04 am

True Detective Season 1 Episode 3: Locked Rooms

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Later on in the episode the two detectives who have the misfortune to question Rust and Marty become tired of Rust's opinions, which at this point have turned to religion, life, and whatever else pops into Rust's head at the moment. They respond to such horribly strong negativity that they leave the room, using a so called "Break" to excuse themselves from having to hear more from a man that is clearly broken, left with nothing and no one. This episode more than any of the other ones so far properly illustrates Rust's loneliness, his distance from people and mankind in general, his unwillingness to connect with others. This lack of faith in people and Rust withdrawing into himself is even more noted when Maggie and Marty make the mistake of trying to hook him up with one of her friends-she's willing, he is not, yet Rust goes through the motions.

What troubles Marty is that as he cheats on his wife and drinks more he is growing apart from Maggie, and she not only sees this but confronts him about it. For reasons unknown Rust shows up at Marty's house, thus angering Marty yet also reminding Marty that he has let the job consume his life despite his attempts to, in his own words, keep the job and life separate. This failure threatens his marriage and his relationship with his own children, and it leads to Marty lashing out in anger against his own mistress after she takes a man home and tells him its over. That scene is chilling in that Marty realizes he is capable of violence, and luckily for the young man he almost beats up Marty recognizes his limits and goes home instead. The conversation between Marty and Rusty where Marty wonders about love and if he is a good man is one of the best parts of the episode, as it is stark and real.

Finally the journey concludes one part, starting a new one as the pair of detectives find the gateway to the rabbit hole, to hell and beyond. A break in the case occurs, however this moment only leads to more questions without answers, answers that lie with of all things a man. Interesting how when events appear complex they can be simplified with the right key, a key that Rust discovers thanks to his inability to sleep and his strong obsession. Marty tries to deny his obsession, while Rust refuses to admit doubt clouds his mind more than sleep does. Both men have their own demons to overcome, and each must get his affairs in order before the tide comes in.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: A Pair of True Detectives

Post by MadMan » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:05 am

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS

True Detective Season 1 Episode 4: Who Goes There

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Much has been made about that brilliant tracking shot, which is something that would never be featured on a network TV show these days and utterly lives up to the hype. What's forgotten amongst the talk about that scene is that Who Goes There is the shit hitting the fan, the storm exploding onto all in moments both surprising and expected. You have Marty facing Maggie's wraith as Lisa gets revenge on him by telling Maggie about the affair, followed by Rust being forced to go back deep undercover with a group of people that he was hoping he would no longer have to deal with. The consequences of Rust and Marty's previous actions come down upon them just as they have a break in their case, and that's rough.

One of the best moments in this episode, tracking shot aside, is when Marty is forced to go into a rave club to find a man capable of telling Rust and him about the biker gang that Rust has to go meet after a couple years of playing dead. The lightening is absolutely perfect and the scene is tense, unwinding by the end, as if it were a slinky bouncing down the stairs. This moment is matched by the the tracking shot of course, and yet Who Goes There feels nervous and tense throughout, mirroring the feelings of the two main characters. Rust has to prevent Marty from going to pieces over Maggie, all while breaking rules and laws so that they have a shot at finding a man known as Reggie Ledoux. Such a move proves to be tricky and risky, particularly with Rust having to steal evidence to have a shot of meeting with the bikers who know him as Crash.

Ah, that tracking shot. Its a thing of beauty, winding and curling around, following people amongst chaos that emerges during a robbery gone horribly wrong. Violence erupts as the hostile natives respond to murder, resulting in an orgy of killing and beatings. The police helicopter circles overhead, capturing the scene in all its terrifying glory. Rust and Marty are baptized together in fire, emerging bound together as partners, not opposites, brothers in arms centered on a singular purpose. What happens next I have no idea, and I can't wait to view the aftermath.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: The Yellow King

Post by MadMan » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:34 am

Look I tried to avoid possible spoilers, but at this point the show doesn't allow me such easy favors. Sorry.

True Detective Season 1 Episode 5: The Secret Fate Of All Life

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Well this is what the past episodes have all been adding up to: the reveal of who might possibly be responsible for the murders that Rust and Marty are investigating. Unlike the previous one, Who Goes There, The Secret Fate Of All Life is insanely creepy to the max, offering us at the first what appears to be the end of the rabbit hole but is in fact just another rung on the nasty journey that the show is taking the viewer on. I'm reminded strongly of the best of The X-Files and Twin Peaks here, shows, that excelled at taking the supernatural and the bizarre and giving it an added twist of feeling so real, tangible and believable. Although True Detective does not have aliens or a murderous being named Bob, it does have the Yellow King, a mysterious individual that possibly doesn't exist although by the end of this episode Rust becomes absolutely convinced that someone is pulling the strings. Moving things around, causing actions that go beyond the fabric of normal understanding.

These truths and opinions form the sandwich between which lies the meat and cheese of time passing before our very eyes. Years go by, things change and stay the same, life becomes a circle from which there is no escape. The two detectives grilling Rust and Marty finally recognize that the pair are not telling them everything they know, that certainly Rust is hiding something. I liked the bleak humor that emerges from Rust playing the detectives as they attempt to profile him, as they appear way too set in a belief that could possibly be either a lie or the truth. Meanwhile Marty wrestles with his family life, dealing with one daughter that has gone by the wayside, rebelling as kids often do, tending to another daughter that is more like her mother. Family is important to Marty and yet after repairing his clan it seems to be falling apart once more, splitting into factions that risk destroying what Marty somehow built up again.

Few episodes manage to get under your skin such as this one, clawing beneath the bone and striking at the nerve. Rust begins to go off without Marty, and the seeds of distrust are sown by people that Rust sardonically labels "The company men." Yet I feel that such feelings begun long ago, as the show moves its focus to a later time and place. This show has a really subtle type of humor that I enjoy, and the jokes are quick and hard to see coming, which is why they are so funny. Maybe Rust has it right: life is a joke, death is the punchline, and our life forms the context of a short quip delivered to us by someone that could be a higher power. Nah, it's just another asshole who thinks they're hilarious.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: The Yellow King

Post by MadMan » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:55 am

Honestly if you are not watching the show you should probably avoid my thread until I'm done with the reviews. Sorry to postpone the movie reviews but I feel that True Detective warrants my attention. The last time I viewed a show this amazing I was burning through Twin Peaks on Netflix.

Possible Spoilers:

True Detective Season 1 Episode 6: Haunted Houses

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So finally even Marty got tired of the detectives bullshit and decided to walk out on them, too. Sure him and Rust are no longer partners at this juncture and yet partners never stop being partners, I guess. That failed to detour the pair who by this point think Rust is a possible suspect, which unfortunately makes sense to a certain degree. Instead they decide to talk to Maggie, and here we get a clearer picture of what happened in 2002, 17 years after Rust and Marty's case ended. Rust no longer believes that the case is over, hence his previously cryptic statement of "Nothing is ever solved," something that he truly meant and which he refused to interpret for the men working him over in a small room at the police station. Funny that actual law enforcement think they can break law enforcement, although some law persons are dumber than others. Rust and Marty are no fools, however, although Rust dives into obsession while Marty falls into old habits. Marty also commits an astonishing act of punishment, melted out to those who made the mistake of wronging a loved one.

The center cannot hold, it falls apart and we, the audience, bear witness to the failures of man. Marty cheats on his wife again, begins drinking once more and proves the sad adage that most people cannot change. During this period Rust goes off the reservation, inviting the fury of his commanding officer and harassing people in his desperate search for the truth. All of this builds up to an unforgettable moment that is shocking and invites consequences, ending a partnership and a friendship in the process. Where two men who once stood together break away from each other and give up the profession they so nobly served it's heartbreaking, to a degree. The fight between Marty and Rust is quick, leaving the two with cuts, bruises, blood shed-its a rather harrowing scene to witness.

Even more notable is a scene where a woman tells Rust about the man with the scars, in what is a chilling and unnerving moment. This show has turned from slow burning dramatics to highly tense and nightmarish parts that stick with you after the credits roll. Also the episode's ending is damn near perfect, expected yet also wonderful-I can't quite describe what happens, you just have to watch for yourself. True Detective is magnificent, a show that at this point has reached the middle of the rabbit hole. What lies at the end, I have no idea, but man what a ride. Funny how one man is clearly dark and yet appears to be the good man, and the one who is supposed to be the clearly good man has a ton of darkness brooding within.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Down The Rabbit Hole

Post by MadMan » Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:31 am

Less spoilers than usual. Maybe, maybe not.

True Detective Season 1 Episode 7: After You've Gone

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Sitting in a the ancient white painted bar that Rust spends his days working and drinking in, Marty and Rust come to terms with the death of their relationship. They used to be partners and now they sit across from one another, haunted by the past and, according to Marty, damaged by time itself. There is some humor early on in this episode which makes it lighter than many of the other episode openers, and for a while the light is allowed in and the darkness is kept at bay. Using his poetic gift for words Rust convinces Marty to team back up and attempt to finally get to the bottom of the entire mystery lying around the so called "Yellow King." Marty complies partly out of curiosity but mostly having no choice, and the humor is muted by a videotape that is something out of one of those movies about devil worshipers and cults.

There is a short flashback which features a neat camera trick where Rust is in three places all at the same time, as he broke into the Reverend Tuttle's homes in search of much needed evidence. Just because Rust might be right does not mean he isn't a tad crazy, and yet Marty and him reaffirm their partnership and bond themselves to each other again, for the last time. If the previous episodes were film noir and horror related than Marty and Rust sharing booze and truths, dealing with Maggie and what happened between the three of them, then this episode is a western. Two cowboys saddling up for the final ride, not sure if they'll be coming back and if they will even survive. I'm sure the thought of death crossed Rust's mind at least while he waited for Marty to dig through cases long since forgotten.

Evil is revealed and to much horror it is plain, human and therefore prone to damage. What is revealed by the close of this episode is that Marty and Rust have gone beyond the pale, down the river of no return. Off the reservation and on their own, what they must do to conquer evil is become once again, "The bad men keeping the other bad men at the door." Oh and that final shot is absolutely beautiful and haunting, lingering and signifying closure on the way, that time has caught up with two old men in over their heads and with nothing to lose.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Down The Rabbit Hole

Post by MadMan » Sun Sep 21, 2014 6:46 am

Well folks we've reached the end of True Detective. I'm kind of sad because I wish there was more, and yet 8 episodes feels the right amount of length. Some spoilers, of course:

True Detective Season 1 Episode 8: Form and Void

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There is a homage to the classic serial killer horror film noir film "M" in this episode, and it made me smile even though it was sickening and creepy. At this point I might be siding with Rust, who although lacking in hate for people still manages to project a rather sinister view of the world itself, and who would perhaps nod at such a moment. You have a monster hiding in plain sight, appearing to project a sense of normality despite hiding secrets that would make even the most hardened individual quiver in disgust. We have finally reached the end of the journey, the road is closed and the sign says "Dead End" in the distance. There is no more paths to trend, no more questions to answer because the answer was starring us and the detectives in the face all along. Such a fact is maddening, anger inducing and proves that real evil and horror is more terrifying than made up boogiemen and fairy tales about the dead returning to life.

Three times in the season (maybe even more) is the rabbit hole referenced and showcased. Once at the beginning, then a second time when Rust stares into the spot where the dead girl was first found, then lastly with Rust chasing the Yellow King into the wilderness. Stuck behind due to a need to contact the authorities, Marty almost gets lost following Rust-its almost as if Rust is the White Rabbit and Marty is Alice. Both men witness a crown of thorns, and both men encounter the Yellow King. The final battle is fierce and only happens due to Rust experiencing a vision of high importance, materializing before his very eyes. What occurs after this vision I cannot say, except that it is bloody, prolonged, and important.

"Once there was only dark. You ask me, the light's winning." Rust says that at one point, musing philosophically and offering a rather optimistic viewpoint, one that he ends up at due to an experience that leaves both him and Marty changed forever. Some find the ending to the season to be anti-climatic and boring, yet I loved its wiry humor and a key conversation that is heart wrenchingly honest and thus difficult to watch. Whether or not the second season will be as brilliant as the first remains to be seen, yet at this point I am a huge fan of True Detective and marvel at a first season that is one of the best I have ever witnessed.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: The Light Is Winning

Post by MadMan » Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:53 am

The last film out of the four movie MSTK box set:

The Mole People (1956, Virgil W. Vogel)

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Long ago when I was younger the MSTK episode featuring The Mole People was one of the first ones I ever watched. It made me smile back then, and it made me laugh again years later, although I realized that I recalled the terrible movie more than I did the jokes in the episode. Those jokes are quite good by the way, and the episode has a nice sense of humor that is often an aspect of the show. I liked the sketch bit where the mole people bust through the floor of the space station and try to attack the trio, and of course the invention exchanges are always a favorite of mine.

As for the movie, there is actually a kind of stupid charm involved, although this could maybe be due to the fact that its a 1950s sci-fi/adventure movie that takes place underground in a magical world hidden from humans. John Agar is the incredibly bland hero, and the bots and Mike mock him endlessly with some witty jokes. The Mole People rise up, oppressed for too long and now attempting to be free from their horrible oppressive overlords. I for one salute the Mole People and their struggle for freedom, never mind it results in people dying and the end of a society. Figures that a bunch of white guys rock and change an established culture, so there is some imperialistic aspect involved somewhere. Of course this terrible movie isn't smart enough to cover any of this properly or explore such possible themes more in-depth.

This movie had a hilariously bad ending, which I won't reveal here since its much funnier to witness onscreen. Sure The Mole People is not a good movie, and its really cheesy, yet these kinds of movies are no longer made anymore. The B-picture is largely dead, regulated to SyFy features and good directors' attempts at capturing the cult movie style, which is nice only if it results in a good movie or at least an enjoyable one. I guess the double feature and the monster movie largely died off when the era of the drive in concluded, which is a shame to a degree. If only because these days we are spared bad movies such as The Mole People, although it seems that these days the bad movies just aren't bad enough.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: MSTK, Mole People and Mr. Agar

Post by MadMan » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:33 am

Only one month left to go from last year and I'm all caught up on 2013. Whether or not I'm going to keep doing reviews I don't honestly know. I'll leave it up those still reading. If they say yay, I'll start on 2014 viewings. If they say nay, well....actually fuck it I'm not going to quit, so too bad.

Seconds (1966, John Frankenheimer)

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Fear and paranoia go hand in hand during the 1960s, as the godless communists threatened America and the counter-culture was in full swing. The hippies protested the Vietnam War and African Americans continued to fight for civil rights. Completed as a companion piece to the masterwork The Manchurian Candidate and the great film Seven Days In May, Seconds was John Frankeneheimer daringly making an exercise in horror, science fiction, suspense and tragic drama. Seconds is a complex film, too intelligent to be discussed in a short review such as this one, calling for a lengthy spoiler filled essay much like the one that accompanied the film's excellent Criterion release, which I blind bought last year. Rock Hudson delivers a performance that consists of multiple faces, and this is only after the man who had an unfulfilled life is changed into Rock Hudson. The change itself is eerie and surprising, encompassing mind, body, psyche and even the soul. After all, this is a person who has decided to transform their life, to give up the old one and emerge anew and reborn. Yet one cannot rewrite the human mind so easily despite all the tools and technology in the world. Problems emerge, and the question of whether desiring a new existence turns out to be healthy or not springs up, not so easily answerable and problematic.

The camera work in this film is probably Frankenheimer's most daring and original, capturing perfectly the essence of paranoia. The nightmares that occur are haunting, framed weirdly and sporting plenty of sharp angles and distortion, reflecting an uneasy mind not at peace. A man goes from being conservative and rigid to supposedly liberal and free spirited, and yet he is expected to follow a program, to adhere to a new lifestyle that seems to be just as oppressive and structured as the one that he left behind. Such a movie now would be almost cliche unless done in a different manner or being near expertly directed, however when made in 1966 Seconds was fresh and new, startling and terrifying. It's the reason why 1960s sci-fi is remarkable and at its best exceptional, offering a new perspective on the world, people, and things that one did not look at in a different light previously. I also like the strong elements of social commentary, and in Seconds you end up with a sad film, one that proves that maybe you cannot teach an old dog new tricks. And the film sticks the landing with relative ease, closing the book with a resounding and terrifying bang.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Rock Hudson Only Has Seconds

Post by MadMan » Thu Sep 25, 2014 4:50 am

The Plague of the Zombies (1966 John Gilling)

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Made before George A. Romero created Night of the Living Dead Hammer Studios released their own zombie film, Plague of the Zombies. In some ways this film had zombies acting more like modern zombies, minus the eating of people. The creatures were violent, hostile, and really freaky looking, which was different in a way from the old versions of the monsters featured in films such as White Zombie and I Walked With A Zombie.

However this time they were under control, used by a voodoo master for his own twisted ends. One of the coolest parts of the movie is when two people witness a freaky zombie killing a man. Its harrowing and shocking, which are classic characteristics of many Hammer Studios films. As is also violence and gore, which are also utilized properly in many of the studios’ films. I loved the main characters, too-a professor and his young friend, who tackle the threat with typical British stiff upper lip and their refusal to shy away from great danger.

Also the famous element of class is thrown in, as the main villains are ruthless aristocracy. I like the film’s creepy sense of foreboding mixed in with pure weirdness at times. The opener is quite strange and unique, and for an entry that wasn’t directed by Terence Fisher this is a good, properly crafted movie. Oh and that ending is actually haunting and scary, a great conclusion to a quality popcorn flick. I love how English this movie is, and how Hammer Studios sets its movies in either the big cities of England or the small towns, where just underneath the surface of quiet country life something terrible is happening.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Zombies Hammer Studios Style

Post by MadMan » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:41 am

Bronson (2009, Nicholas Winding Refn)

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Few movies exist such as this one, which is a nasty and unflinching look at one Michael Gordon Peterson, better known as Bronson. Although fictionalized obviously, this is a film that dives into the human psyche and is full of short to the point harsh comedy and violent drama. After all Bronson is a man of violence, a person who is at home in the prisons of Britain. They are his playground, a world that he has inhabited for decades and which is the only place he really knows. I'm reminded of another equally good foreign prison movie about another dangerous inmate called Chopper, released in 2002 and starring Eric Bana, and how that film made its actor famous. Well Bronson made Tom Hardy famous, and for equally good reason: its one of those roles of a lifetime, a stark raving mad performance that is parts brilliance, parts method acting, all around marvelous to watch. The film itself seems cliche at times yet overcomes those as Refn displays his natural gift for composition, for use of color and music, and because well Refn is a goddamn fantastic director.

The soundtrack takes on a life of its own during the film, giving additional voice to a man who knows how to use his tongue. Bronson is the film's narrator and he does a bloody fine job, taking us on a winding journey through his days and taking us along for the ride. The stage part of the film is one of my favorite moments since after all we are Bronson's audience and he willingly talks to us, gives us his thoughts, treats us as if we were his mates. Since this film Tom Hardy has gone on to bigger and better things, and yet I have a feeling I will remember this film the most out of all of his movies. Refn has not directed a movie such as this one since to my knowledge, although Only God Forgives comes rather close, and I don't know if he will or not. Only time will reveal. This film deserves a long review, one that is more in-depth and full of spoilers, and one that I will probably write only after I see all of Refn's movies.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Tom Hardy Fights As Bronson

Post by MadMan » Mon Oct 06, 2014 5:03 am

The Final Sacrifice (1990, Tjardus Greidanus)

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Midway through The Final Sacrifice I knew I was viewing something truly unique. There has never been a movie like this one, and there will never be another one quite like it, which considering how awful this film is might be a good thing. And yet I keep thinking about The Final Sacrifice, and I realize that unlike other terrible movies I've viewed over the years The Final Sacrifice is highly entertaining. Maybe this is also due to The Final Sacrifice being one of Mystery Science Theater 3000's funniest episodes. The jokes almost write themselves here, and the one-liners and quips are beyond hilarious. I actually want to view this episode again, partly to watch the film once more but also to hear the jokes again. Some movies inspire quality humor, and The Final Sacrifice is one of those movies. Canada has gifted us with a 1990s cult classic of true awfulness on an epic scale, a true marvel of cinema that deserves to be studied so it can never happen again.

The Canadian Chuck Norris, Rowsdower, is thrust into a harsh situation when some dumbass kid that really likes him a lot ends up on the run from a cult. The kid, who's name I don't even remember because its not important, hides in Rowsdower's truck, only later to discover that the cult knows about Rowsdower. Bad luck on the kid's part, but worse luck on Rowsdower's, as he is forced to battle the cult the only way he knows how: through being awesome. "I wonder if there's beer on the sun?" is only among the questions that this man of the wilderness has to ponder if he is to survive and for some reason, prevent the kid from being, well....you know. The final sacrifice. Dun dun dun. For some reason I actually loved the special effects in this movie, even though they are really bad. I think it was just part of this movie's big dumb charm, and the fact that for all of its bumbling around it is rather earnest and strangely honest, despite not being a good movie. Or maybe even a movie. But it is an experience.

Also I couldn't resist posting this:

[youtube]rJd3g6LGSFc[/youtube]
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: ROWSDOWER!!!!

Post by MadMan » Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:41 am

Carnal Knowledge (1971, Mike Nichols)

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Jack Nicholson and Art Garfunkel play two friends that realize only too late that there is no winners in the so called "Battle of Sexes," but rather tons of losers. At least according to Nichols' biting social commentary powered film that I viewed thanks to TCM last year in what ended up being a perfect film for the time of the year. Most of the film happens in cold weather settings and the winter of discontent sets in early in this movie, as loneliness and alienation are the norm in this controversial classic. You have women presented as cold and heartless, treating men as they seem to be: sexist perverted bastards. Neither side comes off as particularly good in this case, and its rather brutal to watch in psychological and emotional terms. At first both Nicholson and Garfunkel are young bachelors in the prime of their lives, at play and happy, yet as the years go by and the broken relationships pile up both men descend into self-loathing and booze fueled unhappiness. Can people ever be satisfied in a loving relationship, or does such a thing even exist? Do certain people just enter into a contract between each other and then hang around after the love is gone because that's how marriage works? Eh this film offers such a harsh, cynical view of people coming together that despite being a truly great and well acted film such questions go mostly unanswered. Perhaps that was the point. I'm not sure.

What I do know is that this film is largely an acting clinic, which is how Nichols' films seem to go-I've only viewed three of them, one of them of course being The Graduate. Although this film is also supposed to be a comedy I actually don't recall the comedic elements as much as I do the dramatic moments, which is the opposite of another Nichols film I viewed, The Birdcage, where in that one the comedy aspects were much stronger. Nichols also has an able eye for visuals and this film is rather well shot. I wish I could recall the soundtrack but its been almost a year since I viewed it so my memory is a tad fuzzy on the subject, although perhaps I didn't bother to focus on the music. That's what multiple viewings are for, and I would like to see this movie again. But not because of the amount of sex, although I suppose this film had plenty of that, what with the title and all.
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Re: Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by Hank » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:02 pm

True Detective and Refn... two things that I really enjoy. Although the last bit of True Detective at the hospital did just about nothing for me. Haven't seen the others.
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Re: Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by MadMan » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:43 am

Hank wrote:True Detective and Refn... two things that I really enjoy. Although the last bit of True Detective at the hospital did just about nothing for me. Haven't seen the others.
Sweet. And I'm not sure why I really loved the hospital bit in True Detective. Maybe its because it was an unexpected ending and it just fit in well with the rest of the season for me. Or maybe I just love hearing Matthew McConaughey monologue every time, without fail. I'm guessing that Interstellar will have at least a couple of McConaughey speeches and I can't wait to hear them all.
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Re: Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by Hank » Sat Oct 18, 2014 11:57 am

MadMan wrote:Sweet. And I'm not sure why I really loved the hospital bit in True Detective. Maybe its because it was an unexpected ending and it just fit in well with the rest of the season for me. Or maybe I just love hearing Matthew McConaughey monologue every time, without fail. I'm guessing that Interstellar will have at least a couple of McConaughey speeches and I can't wait to hear them all.
Haha... yeah, you are right... I'm sure Nolan will have him spout off on some long winded speech about space travel and what that means.
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Re: Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by MadMan » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:11 am

Just another reason I can't wait until Interstellar comes out.

Robot Holocaust (1986)

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Man that guy must have had a really bad weekend...

Shit I don't even remember this movie, or what the MSTK commentary was even like. What I do know is that for some reason near the end of last year I binged on MSTK episodes, all of them featuring godawful films. This one receives a 0/100 from me because hurray ratings, although I suppose its more due to the fact that its really bad. I believe this film based on what I do recall is an insanely low budget sci-fi movie that is also a journey film, where the characters wander through the desolate wasteland in search of freedom, food, and maybe some other stuff. And of course they aim to defeat an evil overlord that cruelly rules the dead world with an iron fist, although I don't think the fist is really made out of iron in this movie. What a bummer, as that would be interesting. I'll just cut this whole thing short by saying that I still don't know where the hell MSTK found these movies. I don't even think they are featured in multiple movie packs anymore, and if they are then I hope those are really cheap because yikes.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by MadMan » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:18 am

Another MSTK movie to review, and this one is of course a massive stinker:

O.K. Connery (1967, Alberto De Martino)

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This film is supposed to be a spoof of the Bond movies as evidenced by its really shitty title, in addition to having an equally bad title Operation Kid Brother in the US. Perhaps that is your first clue that this movie blows. Of course Neil Connery is supposed to be Sean Connery's brother, ha ha...ha....fuck this, I hate this goddamn movie. It sucked. It sucked so bad I'm remembering now how much it sucked, and if it wasn't for the MSTK crew I wouldn't have even made it through the whole thing. Or even past the first five minutes. Life is too short to be wasted on crap, and yet there I was, viewing this pile of cow dung. Fuck this movie. Its the opposite of fucking awesome. Hell its the opposite of anything good, pure, and holy in this terrible world. Don't watch this even for the commentary. Just..don't.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Young Art and Jack At Play

Post by MadMan » Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:35 am

At this point I'm just trying to close out 2013 before 2014 gets here. I'm running behind by about over a 120 movies. Good times.

The Big Heat (1953, Fritz Lang)

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One Friday night I was forced to go out into the cold by my shitty job and salt the parking lot. My dumb ass fell on the ice and I chipped my tailbone, which hurt like hell. I ended up in the hospital although they discharged me with some decent painkillers, and I ended up on my couch watching TCM, and I tuned in on a good night because not only was The Big Heat playing, but also later on they showed Dog Day Afternoon (review for that coming up next). Having now looked up The Big Heat I didn't realize that Fritz Lang directed this although it should come as no surprise: Lang was a talented director who crafted many film noirs over the course of his illustrious career. The Big Heat is a badass movie with badass people, and as far as film noir goes its top notch with a great cast and an entertaining plot. Dave Bannion is a tough cop, a good honest man in a town that's more crooked than a busted rail. His refusal to give up on an supposedly open and shut case proves to be his downfall, costing him almost everything.

The Big Heat has something of a sadistic element to it, one that is nasty and harsh. A woman is disfigured, a person is blown up, and brutal murders happen. This film is shot in the typical film noir style of black and white, with long shadows and dark corridors where anything can happen to anyone. Glen Ford plays Bannion as a man in over his head, pushing forwards hoping to stay above water and solve his case. Lee Marvin shows up in a role before he became famous, portraying a well dressed monster. Gloria Grahame is stunning even after she suffers a fate worse than death, and she fills the scorned woman role quite nicely. This is the kind of movie where the characters are named Dave, Stone, Debby, Mike, etc, simple names that are easy to remember. When it comes to cinema crime movies are now a days one of my favorite genres, and films like The Big Heat are a huge reason why. 50s film noir has style, class, and plenty of memorable scenes.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Glenn Ford + MSTK Double Bill

Post by MadMan » Wed Apr 01, 2015 7:43 am

Yeah I abandoned this thread for a long time. I decided to come back and play catchup for reasons only known to me. Not that anyone cares.

Dog Day Afternoon (1975, Sidney Lumet)

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Back in 1975 a movie such as Dog Day Afternoon was considered revolutionary and unique in terms of documenting such an experience in a vivd and remarkable way. Sure there have been heist/hostage pictures before and since Dog Day Afternoon busted onto the screen, yet few have come close to matching Sidney Lumet's masterful classic, which is expertly directed, written, and acted. Until December 2013 this was one of my major blank spots when it comes to 1970s cinema, and I'm better off for having finally viewed it finally. Only a million more movies left to go...

Once upon a time Al Pacino acted without going completely overboard or trying too hard, and in Dog Day Afternoon he puts on a tour de force as Sonny, a man desperately trying to pay for his lover's sex change by robbing a bank with Sal, his slow witted partner, played by the late great John Cazale, who also starred with Pacino in The Godfather Part II. I actually like their relationship in this film more, even though they were much better in the classic Godfather sequel, widely regarded as one of the best films of all time. Dog Day Afternoon has a great cast, with Charles Dunning as a police detective sergeant and Chris Sandon as Sal's lover. I like how this film is based on real events and therefore Lumet uses his camera to make the film appear more documentary style in approach and tone, which is why this film is engaging and rather suspenseful. It's also darkly comedic that the bank robbers are bumbling and yet they manage to avoid spraying bullets everywhere. This brings to mind the famous monologue by Jonn Travolta at the beginning of Swordfish, which goes to show that even modern day semi-decent action films can't help but reference Dog Day Afternoon.

While other previous films such as Ace In The Hole depict the modern day media circus, Dog Day Afternoon joins them and in many ways offers the current template for how a situation like a bank robbery can explode into a long term crisis. I was rather amused how only Sal and Sonny could in their own way mess up a short bank robbery, giving rise to a long term stand off that runs late into the night. Although I'm sure a film or two has addressed how a hostage situation would fair in a modern day media setting I can't imagine the media being kind to the police for letting it run long, and every little detail of the robbers' lives would be discussed. Oh wait that all did happen even back in 1975, although Twitter and Facebook didn't exist back then, clearly. Neither did awful cable news, which would be sensationalizing a rather obvious moment in history.
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Re: MadMan's Awful Movie Log: Al Pacino Heats Up A Dog Day

Post by MadMan » Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:04 am

I figure this thread will help me get to 10k. It's a nice, round number. What happens when I hit it, well you'll find out.

2 Guns (2013, Baltasar Kormákur)

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Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington play themselves in a big dumb action movie that is one of those 80s styles throwbacks someone like me would enjoy. Plus the rest of the cast sure helps. I did enjoy the action sequences even though the dialogue was rather poor at times. As far as moden action films go this movie wasn't a waste of time, which is a good thing I guess.
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